Sunday, December 12, 2010

Opinion Column: College Grads' Future

Published in the Montana Kaimin, 10/28/2010
Disturbing the Peace: When I grow up, I want to be...

I'm graduating this spring. The reality of that statement smacked me in the face the other day, as I realized that I've spent the last four years based in this town. It's gone by with all the swiftness of a freshman speed-dating session, but soon, should I choose to leave the friends and environment I've created, my entire pseudo-structured reality will be transformed into something very different. Off to meet the "real world," as they say… in the fake world?

So I find myself diving into the pool of ambiguity that many of my peers are already treading water in. It seems like everyone I know who has graduated is either jumping into grad school (just what I want after 17 near-continuous years of academia), living at home with their parents (just what they want after 18 years of raising some damned parasite) or simply floating around the Missoula stratosphere with no direction. Everybody's question is, "What am I going do with my life?"

Why, as graduates in our early-to-mid- twenties, do we feel this need to nail down some absolute sense of definition? Is the real world going somewhere? If it is, do we really think we know enough about where it's going to simply fall in step and wrap ourselves up in a career, a family, a home, a life?

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Opinion column: UM campus smoking ban

Published in the Montana Kaimin, 9/30/2010
Disturbing the Peace: Smoke and Mirrors

Amid the ample press time the impending campus tobacco ban has received lately, I thought I would stay away from the subject and focus on other things. However, since no real opponent to the ban has put the pen to paper, I thought "What the hell?"

If you missed the scuttlebutt, The University of Montana is going tobacco free in the fall of 2011. The reason behind the ban is in the name of public health, preserving the lungs of non-smokers from the evils of secondhand smoke. A noble cause, right? Well, yeah, but....

First, the question of having designated smoking areas on campus has been brought up but never addressed. Why not make a few spots on campus smoker-friendly so the cancer fiends can get their fix but the wheezy asthmatics can easily avoid the smoke? Also, remember that the campus extends quite a ways. Do the smokers who live in Lewis and Clark have to cross the street to smoke?

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Opinion column: Medical Marijuana

Published in the Montana Kaimin, 9/16/2010
Disturbing the Peace: No, really, I get these headaches...

Did you go to Hempfest this weekend?

Did you peruse the 98 percent hemp fiber T-shirts and impressive crystal collections?  Did you learn that if we would have industrialized hemp 100 years ago there would have been no need for welfare, World War II or fossil fuels? Hemp, Hemp, Hooray!

Were you informed about all the distinct differences that separate hemp from cannabis, while browsing through the 5-foot bongs, bubblers and vaporizers at the glass table?

Hold on now, that paraphernalia is strictly for medical use. That's right, finally a medicine we can smoke! The days of freebasing aspirin are over!

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